Saturday, July 31, 2010

Brainy Baby Series

Two days ago, I left a comment on Izu's blog on her latest entry "Time Really Flies" that goes like this...

"Izu, its a good thing jugak Izu bukakkan channel tu utk ur daughters. Budak2 skang tgh cpt absorb kan, they'll learn fast trough tv too! Faaz lately addicted dgn CD Brainy Baby. The first day we introduced that CD, mlm tu naik tangga nak pegi tido dia start counting stairs sampai 20 in english (tp ngan pelat2 dia la :P) terkezut kitaorg. I'm sure ur daughters learn a lot too!

Apparently, it caught the attention of few mommies and a mommy-to-be. I am sure they are all Izu's ardent blog readers since the blog is restricted to certain people only :) They emailed me to know more about the Brainy Baby VCD. How it looks like, the price and where to get it. One of them who wants to be known as Sya also suggested that I blog a bit about this. Ok Sya, here it goes..


Well, the first time I knew about Brainy Baby VCD was when we had a family vacation in Penang last year, if you remember THIS post. While walking at the night market in Batu Feringhi, we stopped at a pirated VCD stall, looking and browsing the CDs displayed there. One of the seller approached me and introduced me to this set (oh yes people, I've been introduced to BB VCD by a cetak-rompak seller! :P). He said this VCD collection is among the bestseller besides of course Barney the purple dinosaur :) I did read the description behind the VCD that I held.


"Interesting, but my baby is too small to appreciate this lah brother. Besides, early exposure to the TV/Laptop light is not good to him as he is too small" I told the seller. Faaz was just four months old at that time.


My parents in laws loves Penang so much. In a year, they will go to the Pearl Island 4-5 times for holidays. And when he was 9 months old, Faaz finally have his first BB VCD - Brainy Baby ABC; a gift from his grandparents and of course, Penang mari :D However, Faaz showed no interest in this CD at that time. His grandparents in the meantime keep on buying the VCD when they went to Penang. So the VCDs were kept nicely in the VCD casing...until Faaz turns 15 months old. One day, we played the VCD and he started to like it. But the most amazing thing that we discover was, upon finishing the 123's BB VCD, he climbed the stairs with me while counting from 1 to 20 by his own self! I guess visualization works well with Faaz ;)


For your information, the BB VCD collections comes in variety of series that cater children as young as the age of 9 months up to 5 years old.


Among the BB VCD collections are:

  • Right Brain features classical music and gentle voices, and explores Creative Thinking, Art & Drawing, Rhymes, Imagination, and more!
  • This video works together with the Left Brain video to present both creative and logical types of images and activities
  • DVD includes special features such as: Baby Bloopers, Behind The Scenes, and Storybook.
  • 45 minutes

  • Left Brain features classical music and gentle voices, and introduces concepts such as Logic, Patterns, Letters & Numbers, Sequencing, Analyzing details, and more!
  • Introduction to upper and lower-case letters and multiple letter-sounds. Real children and familiar objects help expose your child to the 26 letters of the Alphabet.
  • Introduces the numbers 1 through 20! Cute kids, happy songs, familiar objects, and colorful animations give this eye-catching program two thumbs-up.
  • Finger painting, sculpture and classic art images combined with fun music and lots of kids make this a video that you and your child will enjoy.
  • Rhythm, tempo, harmony and pitch are just some of the musical basics that your child will be exposed to in this video. Toe-tapping sing-alongs and colorful animations will get children moving to the music.
  • Rainbows and Circles and Squares – Oh, my! This entertaining video introduces 12 Shapes and 12 Colors, plus great Sing-along songs to help them remember the colors and shapes. Your child will want to watch it again and again!
  • Horns & Hooves, Wonderful Wings, Fins & Flippers and Crawly Critters are some of the entertaining and amazing animal categories your child will see in this fun-filled video.

In terms of language, the BB series also comes in 3 main languages; English, French & Spanish:


Not only that, for parents who keen to let their children to learn foreign language since small, they also have the Bilingual Baby series such as Dutch, German, Greek, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and many more! Interesting, huh?! Do visit their website for more info. :)


Oh wait, for babies who loves sports, they also have a VCD called Sportybaby Golf where it teaches kids at such a young age on different golf terms such as putting, chipping & bunker as well as the techniques. They used Turner the Tiger animated character to make this video more entertaining. So, sape2 nak anak jadi jaguh golf, sila2 la purchase this VCD ye :)


Anyway, if you are not sure of which VCD to introduce to your child, you can go to their website
and go to the Parent Product Guide section. They also have a simple chart for your reference:


Or, you can purchase the VCDs in bulk, they called it Power Pack. More value for money I must say. Right now, Faaz only have 3 VCD in the collection; ABC, 123 and music which falls under the age of 2. For me age is just a reference, if you feel you child can appreciate it, why not start early, right?. I plan to purchase Art next, hopefully we'll have more ideas for Faaz's art sessions :)

The BB VCD are available nationwide in video stores such as Speedy Video for RM15.90 or you can purchase them via online. Ehem, ehem, mybbstore is on sale now. Ada discount tau! ;) If you want to get it for RM4 each, paham-paham je la kat mana yer :P


Okla, GTG now, I need to issue some change requests before I can call off the night and officially enjoying my weekend tomorrow. Cee D, your weekend started on Friday 5pm but mine??? 2-3am on Saturday I assumed. Jeles hokey! :P

p.s: Sya, hope this can help you, dear! :)


-credit to: http://www.brainybaby.com-


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exhausted

Working life is very, very hectic currently. Going back home late and work during the weekends are common these days. Worst, me and my teammate have to work for almost 42 hours last week *sigh*


Lucky Fadzil is such a wonderful hubby who totally understand my nature of work. Thanks hun for your support, I really appreciated it. Mmmuahs!! :) I am also lucky that I have an adorable son who seem to understand his mommy's buzy-ness. Lately, Faaz Naqi changed his afternoon nap to late evening. Thus, he'll be wide awake and active when I'm back from work. It give me the chance to spend some time to feed him dinner and spend quality time before he goes to bed. Alhamdulillah... :)


Thousands apologize to blogger friends whom I missed reading and commenting on their entries. I just couldn't find time to do so now. However, I will read the entries either the backdated or the latest one soon, insyaAllah. Hopefully I can do so during my coming holiday. Seriously, although part of me still feel reluctant and a bit sad, another part of me is really, really looking forward for the holiday and stop thinking about work for a while. I desperately need a break; no emails, no phone calls, no meeting, no report.

I am exhausted...

and every time I feel this, I'll take 5 and rerun this video; the first time we saw Faaz Naqi dance in public at TGIF while enjoying the french fries. It made my sister laughed the whole night! :))

Oh well, laughter is the BEST medicine!



Thank you Faaz Naqi for entertaining Mommy! I heart you lots!! :)



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Potty Training?



~~~~~~~~~~~~


Sunday, 11th July 2010, approximately 2.45pm.


Faaz: "Mommy, Faaz yak!"

Me: "Faaz yak? Ok, we go bathroom, k?"

Faaz: Nodded. "K". (opened his arms wide enough for me to carry him).


*yak = bowel movement*


Later at the bathroom...

Me: Open the diaper with puzzled. "Faaz said Faaz yak. Here no yak pun.." Pointing the diaper to Faaz.

Faaz: Grinning while ready to play with the water host.


A minute later...


Faaz: "Mommy, yak!" "Mommy, yak!" while holding my hands.

Me: Puzzled. "Faaz wants to yak??"

Faaz: "Yash" ("yes").


I brought him to the water hole (or whatever you call it :P), and asked him to squat. He then did his own job calmly :P.


Note: The same incident happened again today, 21st July 2010.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I got married and decided to get pregnant, I always thinking whether am I ready or am I capable to take up the responsibility of raising my own child to become a good caliph in this world. Among the responsibility that I think is major includes the potty training (seriously, please don't laugh at me ). I think its not an easy task to train the child especially when I saw how difficult it was for my aunt who is a teacher trained her children; the mopping, the bedsheets changing, the wet bed..huhuhu. I've always wonder how some people can train the child efficiently or its just some are just too lucky that their child is a very fast learner. At that time, I even told myself.."kalau time Nadia susah2 sangat import mak train ok kot " Hahaha! Sikit2 mak :P


Now that I become one, I know that whether I'm capable or not, its my responsibility and I have to do it on my own! More meaningful too, as your child achievement reflects you indirectly. After the incidents, it seems to me Faaz now has the ability to associate the awareness of being full and the need to eliminate it. However, no sign of urinating yet so far. Should I start to potty train Faaz for bowel movement? Is 18 months consider too young (as mentioned in babycenter.com)?


For your information, since this month I started to train Faaz on urinating during the weekends. This technique is taught to me by my mother. What I do is, in the morning when I want to bathe him, upon opening the diaper I will asked him to squat and start to make the "shhhhh..." sounds until he starts to urinate. I do this exercise twice a day, twice a week. Hopefully Faaz is ready to pee without his diaper soon. To tell you the truth, this exercise is not easy, especially if you have an active and playful boy like my son. It takes patience and determination. I believe in the sayings, "when there is a will...there is a way".


As for the bowel movement, I am still doing some readings and asking opinions. Anyone who care to advice or share their experience is more than welcome. I need help...should I start to train him? or should I wait till he is 2 years old??

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simple Menu For Toddler - Part III

First and foremost I would like to apologize to dear readers for delaying this entry for so long. Its flattering to know that there are people who eager to try out my simple recipe sampai email2 suruh update blog :) Lately, my work commitment does not permit me to update the blog, as well as blog-hopping and leave comment as usual *sob* However, I'll try my best to find some time to do so time by time. Be patient with me, will you? Thank you :)

As posted and promised in the last entry, today I share with you another two simple menu for toddler. Hope your kids will enjoy it as much as Faaz.


Happy trying, mommies! :)




~~~~~~~~~~~
Simple Pancakes

~~~~~~~~~~~
I started introduced pancakes to Faaz when he was around 10 months old. However, at that time I am comfortable to use the pancakes mixture and make it a crepe instead of pancake. The reason behind this was crepe is very thin, thus it's easier for your baby to chew.
Faaz's first apple crepe with honey

When in comes to the ingredients, I omit the baking powder into my pancakes as I'm not comfy to introduce it to my son at such a young age. My key ingredients are: flour, egg and milk (I used formula milk) just like the English basic pancake. Then I added few drops of vanilla essence to reduce the smell of the egg and to give sweet aroma to the pancakes. From there, you can add anything to make your pancakes in various flavors and most importantly, giving it NATURAL SWEETNESS instead of using sugar! ;)



flour + egg + formula milk + blended raisins + vanilla essence

the pancake batter..

Here are some example of pancakes that I made without using sugar:

Adding blended bananas ~ you got a sweet banana pancake
Adding blended dates ~ you got a sweet dates pancake
Adding blended raisins ~ you got a sweet raisins pancake
Adding blended mango ~ you got a sweet mango pancake


For the pancakes which are not sweet, serve it with: pure honey or
applesauce instead. Your baby will love it as well ;)

Example of pancakes that can be serve with these sauce:

Oats pancakes - mix the oats with milk and warm water and add into the pancake batter
Apple pancakes - mix the blended apples with the pancake butter
or,
Plain pancakes.

One last thing, I omit butter or oil when I prepared my pancakes before Faaz reached 18 months old. Just use the non stick pan, your pancake won't stick to the pan!


Making pancakes for your babies is easy isn't it? The keyword here is...BE CREATiVE! ;)
simple pancakes...

can turn into this...
with creativity! :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Twice Baked Potato
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This recipe is actually from a video that my friend, Tina posted in her FB recently. However, modifications are made based on the ingredients that I have at home. :) This recipe does not suitable for babies as it involves frying and the usage of salt.

Ingredients:

2 large US potatoes, washed and rinsed.
olive oil


1/2 cup of fresh milk
1/2 cup of fresh cream or plain yogurt (whichever you like: creamy or sourly creamy. I used fresh cream).

for garnishing:

chopped spring onion
grated mozzarella cheese (I used the cheddar cheese instead)
1 small bowl of minced meat *
2 tbsp garlic powder *
salt *
*the original recipe used beef bacon*

Method:

Ensure that the potatoes are washed cleanly and rinsed. Place it into the baking tray. Preheat the oven for 190 degrees.
Coat the potatoes as well as the baking tray with olives oil. Baked in the oven for 45mins to 1 hour (the heat and duration depends on the oven you used. I used a mini oven :)
In the meantime, heat the pan with olive oil. Fry the minced meat.
Add in the garlic powder and some salt.
Continue to fry till it dry. Set it aside.

*for adult, you can add some black paper*

note: you can omit this part if you use beef bacon as the original recipe is :)
Cut the top part of the baked potatoes.
Scoop out the potatoes from the skins carefully and put inside a mixing bowl.
Add in the fresh milk and the fresh cream (or yogurt) into the mixing bowl together with the potatoes. Used the electric mixer to mix the ingredients till it soft and creamy.

Stuff back the potatoes jackets (as well as the top part) with the mashed potatoes.
Garnish it with the minced meat, cheese and the spring onion.
Put inside the baking tray again.
Baked the potatoes for 15-20 minutes (until the cheese melted and the meat turns brownish)
at 190 degrees.
Ready to serve! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

18 Months

Salam and Hello dear readers,

Last Friday Faaz turned 18 months old, meaning Faaz is now aged 1.5 years old..big boy huh? Mommy said since Friday was a working day, Mommy will give Faaz a special treat on Saturday instead. Owh, Faaz can't wait so Faaz woke up pretty early on Saturday morning and woke mommy up too! hihihi..

I can't wait! heheh! ;)


That morning, Mommy prepared a special breakfast for Faaz. Although Mommy always prepare pancakes on weekends for Faaz, this time around it was even more tastier. Mommy said it's because she managed to get fresh California raisins from her friend and she added a bit of butter to make the pancakes a bit crispy. Although no sugar was added to the pancakes, the sweetness of the raisins were enough to bring out Faaz's appetite. Nyum!

Isn't it cute?? :)

The happy me :D


Since it was my special day, Mommy gave permission for me to enjoy the breakfast in front of the TV too. Isn't it cool??


By the way, do you notice the blue couch Faaz been sitting on lately? Mommy & Daddy gave it to Faaz for Faaz's 18 months anniversary. It is an inflatable couch from Sizzlin Cool. It was supposed to be used inside the pool but Mommy thinks it's suitable to be indoor too. Faaz agreed with Mommy, and Faaz is happy now; Faaz have Faaz's very own couch. Tak payah menyelit between Mommy and Daddy lagi. Hihi...It's so comfy to sit on while watching channel 613 on Astro too. Layan habis! :)

the night my parent surprised me. happy!! :)

The special treat did not end yet. For Faaz's lunch, Mommy prepared a new recipe. She said, it was a modification from a recipe posted by aunt Tina in FB recently. What's more interesting, it was the first time for Faaz to taste beef and a bit of salt. Mommy said beef is cow's meat. Usually Faaz eat chicken or fish meat only. Alhamdulillah, no allergic reaction was detected. Mommy said, although now Faaz is free to taste more things, Mommy will try her best to minimize the usage of salt & sugar for Faaz's health. Oh well, although Faaz admit Faaz love sweet, sweet things, Faaz have to respect and obey Mommy's decision. Faaz know its for Faaz's own good, rite? :)

Tadaaa..its a Jacket Potato for lunch!
I kinda "penyek" it with my spoon. Upsie! :P


Its finger lickin good. Oh wait!
It's spoon lickin good actually..hehe



That evening, we went back to Gombak as Faaz want to see MakMak (Owh, pardon Faaz dear readers, Faaz is still facing difficulty in pronouncing the "Tok" for Tok Mak). Sadly, MakMak was at her hometown. :( Faaz heard that Cik Az has gave birth to a cute baby girl. Mommy said we gonna go back to Tok Nek's house soon too to visit the newborn too, just like what MakMak did. Oh Faaz can't wait! Anyway, being the only grandchild of MakMak, Faaz know MakMak would never want Faaz to feel sad, especially on Faaz's special day. Faaz's gut was right! MakMak did bought Faaz a present. Faaz was so excited when Mak Ngah bring out a huge box out and waited anxiously for Uncle Wan & Daddy to open it for Faaz...



It's a steering wheel! Yay, another one for Faaz's my collection. Thank you MakMak! Faaz loves it! The coolest thing about this steering wheel is that it can be attached to the window next to the passenger seat, so that it is hanged nicely like a real steering. Now Faaz can drive from the back seat, just like Daddy. Wohoooo! The steering wheel also comes with sounds similar to the real sounds of signals, break and hon. Very cool!


Well, it was an unforgettable day for Faaz. Although tired, Faaz was so happy. Mommy said, if you are grateful say "Alhamdulillah". But Faaz can't say that yet. Dalam hati boleh kan Mommy? Faaz also would like to thank everyone for loving, caring and be such a wonderful person to Faaz. Faaz is so lucky. Oh yeah, Mommy...although Faaz never tell you how much Faaz loves you in words, Faaz hope you know that Faaz do love you from the actions; from the way Faaz hugs you, from the way Faaz kish you, from the way Faaz always needed you and crying for you & from the way Faaz being cheeky! Mommy tau kan? kan? kan? hihihi..


Till then everyone.

Love,
Faaz
by mommy Faaz

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Macaron

A macaron is a sweet confectionery. The name is derived from an Italian word, "maccarone" or "maccherone". According to wikipedia, this word is itself derived from" ammaccare", which means crush or beat, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient. It is a meringue based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar.

macaron

vs

macaroon

*photo taken from Google image

The Americans call it as macaroons while the French address it as macaron. Actually, there are differences between both. Macaroons are made of egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks), with ground or powdered nuts, generally almond or coconut. Almost all call for sugar. Macaroons are commonly baked on edible rice paper placed on a baking tray. French Macaron on the other side is filled with cream or butter like a sandwich cookie with variety of flavors and colors. I prefers the latter :)


The first time I tasted the macaron was last year, at Bakerzin, One Utama. I love the chocolate flavor the most as I find the other flavors were really, really sweet. It's been a while since I last tasted it and lately I've craving for it. Yesterday night, we went to Empire Shopping Gallery as Fadzil wanted to do a quick shopping for sports attire before headed to Jaya Supermarket to do a quick grocery shopping. On the way back, I noticed a sign hanging on the door of a bakery that says "macaron". I was delighted, and without hesitant I walked in and get some for us :)

Faaz who can't wait to have some macaron

Mine...nyum, nyum!!

The bakery shop is small, they have 2-3 tables for you to dine in. The SA are friendly, and if you are a first time buyer, they are helpful to assist you with the flavors. Although I am not a sweet tooth and prefer chocolate, I can't help myself from the temptation of other flavors due to the vibrant color, they look really cute too! :)

He was amazed by the texture of the macaroon at first..hihi.

This time around, I bought lychee, strawberry+ lime, blueberry, peanut butter and of course chocolate. The strawberry + lime flavor was not bad at all, and the chocolate are as heaven as usual..nyum!! The rest? They were too sweet for us :). Since Faaz is turning into 18 months in few more days, I gave him the privilege to taste it. Oh my, the boy really loves it. He kept on saying "Mommy, mmmore.." whenever his was finished. I guess Faaz was having the high sugar rush syndrome that night; he was busy kicking the ball and running here n there..hyper sungguh! :P

*photo taken from the Empire website

By the way, if you are wondering the price is RM2 per macaron and it's available at the Whisk - Espresso Bar & Bake Shop @ Empire Shopping Gallery Subang Jaya. It's situated near the Jaya Supermarket :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup & Me

Four years ago, the World Cup was held in Germany.

Four years ago, I worked in Maxis.

and four years ago, I dated Mohd. Fadzil Abdul Kadir - now, my hubby :)



The relations between them??


Maxis was the main sponsor of World Cup (WC) live telecast in Malaysia. To ensure the network excellence (no call congestion, etc.), some of the engineers were required to standby on each night when the matches were held. Us, in the Radio Network Engineering Dept. was part of the team.



Holding a "single" title at that time, I was not surprised when my boss nominated my name as part of the standby team. It was still fresh in my mind leaving Gombak at 11.30pm to reach Sunway office (old office) at sharp 12am. The office environment was totally different by midnight. There were television, few stand fans, a lot of junk food and of course guys! During that time, there were only two regional female RF/Optimization Engineers; Me and Natalie. As Natalie was in charge of East Malaysia and was based in Kuching, Sarawak, I left alone as the only flower among the bees in the standby team.

girl power! :P


Although I am a fan of football, I rarely watch the world cup before. I go for EPL instead as I've been following it religiously since I was in primary school, influenced by my late father :). It was then when I was with the standby team that I learned about WC and begun to have interest for it. My favorite team back then (and now too!) was Brazil. I just admired the way the players played. It's a mixed between passion and skill - hence the "Samba" team. :) Oh, I love the combination of the R trio too - Ronaldo, Robinho & Ronaldinho
. It was fantastic.



Although Brazil was the only national team who have participated in every WC they lost to France in semi final *sob* *sob*. So happened that during the night of Brasil vs France, there was a blackout in the office, a half an hour after our shift started. Nothing can be done at that time so all of us decided to go home/go to the nearest mamak shop to watch the game. Since my boyfriend live few kilometers away from my office, I text-ed him and invited him to watch the game together. Since he too was a supporter of Brazil, we both shared the sadness that early morning *sob*. Being a real supporter (minus the banner :P), I wore a Brazilian t-shirt while he wore his Brazilian jersey, a gift from me. After the match, while he was sending me off to my car, he told me that he was hoping that in four years time, both of us can still watch Brazil plays in the WC together, as a husband and wife...awwwwh sweet :) But wait! he also added that he was hoping that in four years time, I can still fit in my xs size Brazil t-shirt, with HUGE evil grin! Cisss! naughty!! :P



Yours truly 4 years ago...hikhik :)


Bald Faaz after the confinement :)

Alhamdulillah, it has been four years since and what he hoped for has became a reality :) Not only we are watching the WC together as husband and wife, we've been given the gift of watching it with our own "product"- our son! Thank you Allah, for the blessing :) On a note, I still can fit into my t-shirt as before..actually, it was the first t-shirt that I tried on after my confinement. Punyelah risau kalau dah tak fit into it, worrying how Fadzil will sakat me endlessly..hehe :P

Us in 2010...before Brasil lost to Netherlands :P


Speaking of our son - Faaz Naqi. He become more actively kicking the ball when the WC started. He will start his action as soon as the tv shows the match. Semangat kot. At times, he do bother his Daddy to play with him while the man was busy watching the game. A dad is a dad...kenalah entertain jugak budak kecik tu :)) Oh, btw Faaz loves the Oligo advert between the matches. He will dance and sing along with the song and made all of us do the "oligo" dance..ahaha!


Mini Kaka, Robinho or Luis Fabiano??

cheeky!! :P

Brasil has lost (again)..*sob*. I guess I have to wait another four years to see them in action. Itupun jika umur ini masih panjang..insyaAllah. Perhaps instead of 3 there will be 4 or 5 of us?? :)